Linda (Beechy) Houshower, 70, of Bluffton, Ohio, died Aug. 5, 2022, at University of Michigan Hospital after a short struggle with a rare, untreatable cancer. She was born Dec. 27, 1951, to Orin and Marie (Ramseyer) Beechy.
She grew up in Wooster, where she was a member of Oak Grove Mennonite Church and the YMCA, where she taught swimming. During high school she was a counselor at Camp Friedenswald, where she developed her love of nature and met her life partner, Hans Houshower. They were married on April 14, 1973.
In 1974, she earned her BSRN from Goshen College in Indiana. A labor and delivery nurse, she helped deliver babies in Indianapolis, Ind., Seattle, Wash., and Lima and Bluffton, her home for 37 years.
In 1985, she and her husband partnered with close friends to establish The Food Store, a natural foods business in Bluffton where she was a managing partner for over 30 years. She didn’t just serve customers; she got to know them and cared about them as she did for the staff she mentored. She was involved in the Bluffton community, serving on the Village Tree Commission and university Nature Preserve committees. A member of First Mennonite Church, she served on committees and as a trustee.
She was the consummate baker, known especially for her cranberry scones. She loved to ride her bicycle, often logging over 2,000 miles per year and, with Hans, loved to explore natural areas including mountains, marshes and ocean beaches. At home, she created and cared for beautiful flower gardens with a special love for daylilies, and when she wasn’t gardening, she was knitting. She was a passionate birdwatcher, spending part of each day looking for birds and sharing sightings with her birding friends.
She lived life and made friends with boundless energy and contagious enthusiasm — and, above all, loved and cared for her family.
Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Hans Houshower; two sons, Sam (Eleanor Blume) and Nick (Khorshid Rahmaninejad); a sister, Carol (Katie Boardman) Beechy; and three grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at First Mennonite Church, Bluffton.
Memorial gifts are welcomed to support Camp Friedenswald and Black Swamp Bird Observatory.